What is KSHRAB?
The Kansas State Historical Records Advisory Board is the central advisory body for historical records planning and grant funded projects developed and carried out within Kansas under the auspices of the National Historical Publications and Records Commission (NHPRC). The KSHRAB also serves as a coordinating body to facilitate cooperation among historical records repositories and other information agencies within the state, and as a state-level review body for proposals as defined in the commission’s grant program guidelines.
Established by Congress in 1934, NHPRC encourages efforts by private organizations and governments to preserve and make available for use documentary sources relating to the history of the United States.
The KSHRAB consists of nine public members who have recognized experience in the use or administration of records and three ex officio members from the staff of the Kansas Historical Society including the Executive Director, the State Archivist, and the board coordinator. The Historical Society provides additional staff and administrative support to assist the board in carrying out its mission. This document is the result of the KSHRAB’s strategic planning efforts to identify its priorities and areas of activity to fulfill its mission.
Planning efforts included information gathering from historical records repositories and local government records holders. Electronic surveys were sent to more than 1,000 organizations and government officials and nearly 400 responses were received. Using this information the KSHRAB identified three “Critical Issues” and developed potential actions items for future board activities. This data indicated that many people with responsibilities to care for records are what the KSHRAB has nicknamed “accidental archivists.” These are people who work with archives as part of their duties but were hired or elected to do other jobs as their primary activity. Thus, many of them lack formal archival training.
Critical Issue 1: Education/Training
Many of the organizations and officials with responsibility for records in Kansas have limited resources for archival professional development. The KSHRAB proposes to make training available in a variety of locations and through the Internet to maximize accessibility and minimize costs.
- Solution 1.1: Traveling workshops
- Solution 1.2: Regular Web-Based Training for Accidental Archivists
- Solution 1.3: Scholarships for continuing education
Critical Issue 2: Communications
The issue of communications has two aspects. The first is to communicate with the general public about various issues related to records preservation and access. Creating awareness among Kansans about the existence of rich archival collections in organizations across the state and the challenges facing these institutions benefits KSHRAB’s constituency. The second aspect of communications is for the KSHRAB to be more proactive in making the smaller archival institutions in the state aware of funding opportunities, particularly through NHPRC.
- Solution 2.1: Marketing
- Solution 2.2: Provide Information on Funding Resources
- Solution 2.3: KSHRAB members act as ambassadors to other organizations to create awareness of the board and its activities
Critical Issue 3: Partnerships
Many of the cultural institutions in Kansas have multiple responsibilities such as operating museums and historical sites, caring for both 2- and 3-dimensional collections, providing access to research collections, and administering these organizations. Well-designed collaborative projects can benefit everyone. Developing partnerships with educational institutions at all levels can lead to increased use of archives.
- Solution 3.1: Match for grants
- Solution 3.2: Serve as connector between various organizations to facilitate potential collaborative projects
- Solution 3.3: Facilitate communications between archives and K-12